Hadrian’s Wall Day 0

There’s an old saying that while the cats away the mice have a sneaky walk – or something like that. Well my wife flew off to Kenya today and once I’d dropped her at the airport I dashed home, finished packing my pack and jumped on a train to Carlisle. I’m having a sneaky walk while she’s away.

Last year I planned to walk Hadrians Wall, I planned the route and the stops and had everything ready to go but circumstances conspired against me and I had to shelve the plans for another time. Today is that time.

Unfortunately I only have 4 days, so I won’t be able to walk the whole thing, but I should be ae to get the interesting bits done in that time, skipping the final 15 miles or so into Newcastle city centre.

My plan was to get a late train to Carlisle, get a taxi to Bowness on Solway and walk the first mile or two to Port Carlisle, in time to set up camp before it got too dark to see where I was pitching the tent. I then had 4 days walking to Heddon on the Wall where I would meet Rambling Pete and grab a lift back home.

The plan went to shit straight away though, as I arrived at Crewe station to find the train running 15 minutes late. Not a huge problem though. As I sat at the platform though that 15 minutes turned to 25 minutes and then to 35 minutes. The train finally pulled out of the station 45 minutes late. That left me with a problem. I wouldn’t have enough light set up camp. I rang my taxi who was due to collect me from Carlisle station at 21:00 and warned him I was going go be late. No problem he said.

I finally got into his cab at 21:50 and we set off ok the 30 minute journey to Port Carlisle – on the basis that I might as well skip the first mile or so of the walk and get him to drop me at the camp site directly.

30 minutes later, 200 yards from the campsite we were stopped by a police road block and told there was a building on fire ahead and we weren’t allowed through. I asked if I could walk theast few hundred yards but apparently there were gas cylinders in the building and the fire brigade were keeping everyone away.

The taxi turned round and drove around several back lanes for about 15 minutes until we arrived at the other side of the road block behindthe fire engine. I jumped out and let the cab find his own way home.

I finally got the tent pitched about 22:40 in almost dark conditions. A very warm night was spent zipped up against the midges with the fire engine purring beside the field until about 23:00.

More to follow.

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